This study focused on the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a metro system as an example of a public transportation system. The molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus
were investigated to discern which strains were isolated from metro stations in Shanghai. These were compared with strains isolated from hospital treatment rooms and parks. Airborne Staphylococcus
samples in the metro were resistant to an average of 2.64 antibiotic types, and 58.0% of the strain samples were resistant to at least three antibiotics; this was a significantly higher rate than strains from the park, but was lower than those from hospitals. The presence of two antibiotic resistance genes of Staphylococcus
(28.0%) and qac
(40.0%), were also found at significantly higher levels in metro samples than park samples, but did not differ significantly from hospital samples. Furthermore, 22.0% of the metro Staphylococcus
samples were found to be biofilm-positive. The high rate of antibiotic resistance found in Staphylococcus
samples collected from metro stations, and the discovery of antibiotic-resistant genes, indicate that the closed indoor environment and crowded passengers may accelerate the spread of antibiotic resistant strains. More attention should be paid to the inspection and control of antibiotic resistant strains in public transportation systems.